May 6, 2015

Today, the Media Law Institute on behalf of the correspondent of “Ukrainska Pravda” Oksana Kovalenko submitted the application to the European Court of Human Rights in order to obtain the lists of MPs’ registration on the “field session” of the Parliament on Bankova street on 4 April 2013.

At that time, the Party of Regions, instead of negotiating with the opposition, violating the Regulations, hold the field session in the parliamentary committees’ buildings. The MPs registered only in written, signing the list. Being under control of Yanukovych, the counting commission “counted” the necessary votes “for”. However, the MPs from the opposition, as well as the journalists, who could control the voting process, were deprived of the possibility to enter the room, – notes Oksana Kovalenko. – There is a doubt that all the MPs on the list really came to the session. For these reasons, it is important to see the lists of the MPs’ registration with their real signatures.

The journalist tried to access the signed lists of registration with the help of information requests to the office of Verkhovna Rada. Still the office decided that the MPs’ signatures are the “confidential” information. The Media Law Institute represented the interests of Oksana Kovalenko in each instance of Ukrainian courts, but the court decided in favour of the officials.

The MPs’ signatures are public information. They were published by the Central Election Commission together with the property declarations of all candidates for the MPs. The MPs personally sign a large amount of letters, requests and answers for the requests. The national courts ignored this fact”, – points out the lawyer of the Media Law Institute, Vita Volodovska.

The applicant and her representatives expect positive decision in the ECHR: “Opening of the signatures of the MPs may be the base for opening of the criminal cases, since there are grounds to state, that there was no quorum on the session, and a part of the signatures are counterfeited, – mentions the director of the Media Law Institute, Taras Shevchenko. – The field session in April 2013 may be named the preparation to the cynical voting for the dictatorial laws of 16 January, 2014. We will seek for the truth and justice in this matter, since impunity causes new infringements”.

The court case is supported by the Fund for the protection of the right of access to public information, coordinated by the Media Law Institute. Previously, due to its lawsuits, the MLI achieved access to the property declarations of the MPs and provided access of the citizens to the Verkhovna Rada sessions.